Meet Our Faculty – Part 1

Union University attracts some of the nation’s leading Christian intellectuals. They are dedicated to classroom teaching, mentorship, collaboration and the success of their students. Here are some faculty members we would like you to meet.


 

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Julie Glosson – Professor of Language

“The best way to meet somebody and get to know them is through language.”

Learn more about why Julie Glosson is passionate about teaching language here.

 

 

 

 


 

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Sean Evans – Professor of Political Science and Department Chair

“Part of what I like to do here is prepare students for an increasingly secular world to where they can maintain their faith but also advance the kingdom in politics or whatever else their chosen profession or career is.”

Read more about Sean Evans’ experience with Christianity and politics here.

 

 


 

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Zoila Sanchez – Professor of Nursing

“At this university, whether as a student or a professor, I am encouraged to form these Christian relationships and share the love of Christ in the classroom.”

Learn more about Zoila Sanchez’s role in the School of Nursing here.

First Snow of 2016

Over the weekend, our three campuses were blanketed with a coat of snow. This was the first snow of the year, and some students here for January term took advantage of the opportunity to have snowball fights and build snowmen. Here are some of our favorite photos from Friday and Saturday.

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Photo of Hendersonville campus by Don Claussen, Trap the Light Photography

 

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First snow for The Logos library

 

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Photos submitted by Kayla McKinney

 

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Photos submitted by Kayla McKinney

 

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Meet Our Students – Part 1

Union students work hard and set lofty goals. They enjoy building community, pursuing leadership roles and having fun. Here are just a few of the stellar students we would like you to meet.


 

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Daniel Roberts – accounting major from Germantown, Tennessee

“I felt as if the community at Union cared about growing me as a whole instead of just giving me a degree. I saw how much the faculty wanted to relate to me spiritually, academically and relationally. After the past three years, I can see exactly why Union was such a great decision.”

Learn more about Daniel here.

 


 

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Eugenia Nestico – public relations major from Monroe, Washington

“It wasn’t until I came during registration that the Lord truly made it clear that this was where I needed to go. I was expecting it to be somewhat different from how it was portrayed online, but to my surprise, it remained very true to all I had read about it and heard from family and friends.”

Read more of Eugenia’s story here.

 


 

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Adam Reinhard – nursing major from Martin, Tennessee

“My favorite thing about Union is the people here. I have made lifelong relationships and built some incredible friendships.”

See more about why Adam loves Union here.

Students Share Christmas Traditions

The Christmas season is a season of traditions – decorations, music, food and spending time with friends and family. Some traditions are universal, and others are unique. A few Union students shared their favorite Christmas traditions.

Jameson Winter

“Each year my family gets together to celebrate Christmas. The older all of us kids get, the harder it becomes to have everyone in the same place, but we do our best. I suppose we don’t have many traditions, but we always enjoy our time together and we always have the best food. My mother is an exceptional cook and baker. Each year, she makes her apple pie from scratch, and it’s easily one of the greatest tastes I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Needless to say, it doesn’t last very long in our big family.”

Kelly Gwartney

“I love Christmas parties, Christmas food, making deliveries with my mom, giving gifts, playing games and most importantly celebrating the life of Jesus. One of my favorite holiday traditions is looking at Christmas decorations, lights and trees around the town or in Memphis and Nashville. My family and friends will travel to see big decorations in the Opryland or Peabody Hotel because it gets us in the Christmas spirit. I love to walk around and admire all of the time and hard work people put into making their Christmas decorations the best.”

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David Taylor

“My favorite Union Christmas tradition is the freshman council Christmas party, which I have been blessed to take part in twice: once when I served on freshman council and once when I served as freshman council mentor. Both times, Karen Taylor graciously opened her house to us and provided a meal. Freshman year, however, was an interesting experience. We always do a white elephant gift exchange, and the limit is five dollars. Unbeknownst to Karen, you can get a mouse from Petco for less than five dollars. Needless to say, when she realized that there was a mouse in one of the boxes, she went crazy and made us get the mouse out of her house. It was an experience I will never forget.”

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Photos: Christmas at Union

December at Union University is always filled with Christmas festivities for both students and employees. We’ve gathered some photos of events from the first week of December as well as photos of decorations around campus.

The week started off with the annual Storytime with the Olivers event in the McAfee Commons. The tradition of our president reading The Night Before Christmas has long been a favorite.

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On Tuesday night, employees enjoyed their annual Faculty & Staff Christmas Dinner followed by the Union Christmas concert. Prior to dinner, there were activities for the kids and a setup for family portraits.

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The School of Pharmacy held its 3rd annual Trimming of the Tree with Dr. Dub.

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Throughout the week, various areas on campus were decorated for the season including the Bowld Student Commons and the Brewer Dining Hall. On Thursday, Residence Life hosted Deck the Halls for students to decorate their individual buildings.

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Photo submitted by: Jordan Chism

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Creative Dining Builds Community Through Dining Experiences

A college dining experience is about more than just the food, said Jim Erickson, director of Union dining services.

“I look at what we do here as encompassing so many different things,” he said. “Obviously we want the food here to be good, but we want the experience in here to be good. It’s a place where you build community; it’s a place where you get to know people.”

Fall decoration in the cafeteria

Creative Dining Services took over operation of Union’s dining in June, and Erickson said there were some things they knew they wanted to implement from the start. He said they were focused on what the student experience would be, and they wanted it to be a positive experience for everyone, including employees.

Employees work to get lunch ready for students.

“There are a lot of different areas that we look at on this,” Erickson said. “Food is naturally one of the first ones. What is the quality, the variety, the presentation on food? Are we serving what students are going to want to eat, that they’ll feel like they’re getting a good value for their meal plan?”

He said dining services has increased the perception of value by giving more options. Brewer Dining Hall now has a fully stocked salad bar, a grill, a pizza area and a taqueria, in addition to the regular homestyle station.

The salad bar in the Brewer Dining Hall

Signs show where lines are location in the cafeteria

“We put in the taqueria concept and Emma and Charlie’s pizza because we know that those two items are popular with college students,” Erickson said. “I think that probably those have a pretty wide appeal.”

Erickson said dining services is working with students with allergies to ensure they have something to eat without having to make it themselves.

The dining hall also has an allergen area with things like gluten-free bread and dairy-free milk. Erickson hopes to expand the allergen area soon so that people with allergies can have hot meals, not just a sandwich or salad option.

Allergen aware section of the cafeteria

He said Creative Dining Services is uniquely suited to deal with those kinds of things because it is a small food service company. That gives them the flexibility to adjust to what their clients need. He said he looks at their relationship with Union as a partnership.

“We kind of downplay that we’re Creative Dining and make it into Union dining services and really try to promote the school,” he said.

Student response to the changes in the dining hall has been mostly positive. In a survey sent out in late October, students were asked to rate their experiences in the dining hall and give suggestions. About 85 percent of the students who participated said they were either very happy or happy with their experiences.

Jim Erickson posts responses to comments left on the suggestion board.

The dining hall also recently added a comment and suggestion board where students can give feedback about meals. Erickson said most of the suggestions there have been about simple things like adding lids for coffee cups. He said he plans to answer every question or comment that is posted.

“There are always things that we can do better,” he said. “And we’re going to keep improving to make it the best it can be.”

Erickson has worked with Creative Dining for 22 years, and he said he loves everything about it. He said the dining hall is one of the main places on campus that he sees community being built.

Jim Erickson, Food Service Director and Chef Manager, smiles in the Brewer Dining Hall

“There’s something about sitting down and eating,” he said. “If you’ve got good food, it helps foster the relationship between people. If you’ve got a place where you don’t want to come and eat, it really doesn’t do that.”

Lady Bulldogs take on LSU and UK Basketball Teams

Article and photos by Cody Cunningham, graduate assistant in sports information

Coming off of a Sweet Sixteen appearance and a Gulf South Conference Championship in the first season eligible for the NCAA postseason, Coach Mark Campbell and the Lady Bulldog basketball team decided to take on some of the best teams in the country. To open up its season Union traveled to Louisiana State University and then on to the University of Kentucky for exhibition matches to provide a revealing test for the 2015-16 squad.

_MG_5957 Playing in Division I venues is a far different experience than taking on opponents in the Lady Bulldogs home gym, Fred Delay Gymnasium. For a comparison, The Fred holds 2,200 fans when at capacity. In contrast, LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center holds 13,215 spectators. However, the differences don’t stop there. The SEC arenas come adorned with video boards along and above the courts as well as marching bands behind the goals, just to name a few.

_MG_5983 The big lights might be a shock for some of the Lady Bulldogs, but for one they are all too familiar. Carnecia Williams, a junior transfer from Mississippi State, has played in these gyms for the last two years, and that experience certainly has its advantages.

Although games against the elite college basketball teams in the country seem like a morale killer to those on the outside, Coach Campbell likened it to an “impossible mountain to climb” said it shows his team what needs improvement.

_MG_6040 “Ultimately, I think it accomplishes what we want it to accomplish,” Campbell said. “People are going to have better players than us. They are going to be taller, going to be faster, and stronger … and that exposes our weaknesses.”

Although the Lady Bulldogs lost both contests versus SEC teams, they won their other exhibition match against Division III Rhodes College, 87-63. Union kicks off conference play Dec. 3 at 6 p.m., hosting Shorter.

For complete coverage of Union basketball, visit uuathletics.com and follow along on social media @UUAthletics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram._MG_6350 _MG_6355 _MG_6377 _MG_6414

Thirteenth Annual Campus & Community Day

Today marks Union University’s thirteenth annual campus-wide service day. This is a time when faculty, staff, and students join together to give thanks to God for His protection over our campus during the 2002, 2003, and 2008 tornados. Most projects this year took place off campus, but a few groups of faculty and staff members worked around campus.

Members of Chi Omega chat with residents of Recency Retirement Village during a game of bingo.

The ladies of Chi Omega visited Regency Retirement Village to play bingo and visit with the residents.

“Volunteering, helping the residents is really fun, and they appreciate it so much…It’s really cool to get to come back and see people that you’ve seen before and get to talk to them and just to build relationships with the residents.” – Abigail Hamblen, sophomore nursing major

Abby Cox, a member of Chi Omega, gets to know residents of Recency Retirement Village during a game of bingo. Members of Chi Omega chat with residents of Recency Retirement Village during a game of bingo. Member of the cheer squad work on preparing art therapy materials at The Star Center

Members of the cheer squad volunteered at The Star Center by helping prepare art and music therapy materials and washing windows.

“Doing this shows people that great stuff is going on here is Jackson, and we’re here just to help in any way possible…Having these few friends with me to just kind of fellowship and get to know them more is really fun.” – Marcellous Jiles, junior education major

“I think that it’s so great and important because it’s tying Union back into the community…Not only are we helping the community and helping out the Star Center a little bit, but it’s also great to get to have that time to volunteer with friends.” – Sydney Fly, junior education major

Members of the cheer squad wash windows at The Star Center. Members of the cheer squad wash windows at The Star Center. Members of the cheer squad make labels for the music room shelves at The Star Center

A team of students led by the golf team refreshes a US map on the sidewalk outside of Alexander Elementary.

A group of students led by the golf team refreshed a US map on the sidewalk outside of Alexander Elementary.

“It’s just a great way to get in touch with the community and make sure that we’re involved just as much as they are with us.” – Trey Whitnell, senior accounting major

“For the community to come help Union the year we had the tornado, to come back out and help the community and us as a golf team to get together and work for others is pretty amazing. Working with my team and the few others that joined in with us is pretty fun too. We don’t always get to get together like this a lot.” – Joy Cooper, junior business management major

A team of students led by the golf team refreshes a US map on the sidewalk outside of Alexander Elementary.

A team of students led by the golf team refreshes a US map on the sidewalk outside of Alexander Elementary.

Gaye Christy works with fellow staff members to plant flowers at the West entrance of campus.

Faculty and staff members worked on campus planting flowers, weeding and trimming trees.

“What we are doing today is one of the basics for us. It’s part of who we are as a university — serving, giving, showing compassion.” – Dub Oliver, president of the university

Karen works with fellow staff members to plant flowers at the West entrance of campus. Dub Oliver helps trim trees along the Great Lawn.

Members of the executive council pose together after trimming trees along the Great Lawn

 

Admissions Hosts First Bulldog Days

A total of 56 students and their parents got to know Union University at the first Bulldog Days, October 16 – 17. High school juniors and seniors came from 11 states for an overnight stay.

The students had access to information panels, campus tours and a student life and academic fair that are not typically available at a college preview day. They were able to choose between sessions that fit their needs best.

A longer visit allowed more time for students to meet professors and students from multiple departments and student organizations who were able to show off what they had to offer.

The overnight stay let students connect and bond with other prospective and current students and get a taste of what campus life is like at Union University.

Prospective students mingle with faculty and staff during a breakfast Prospective students mingle with faculty and staff during a breakfast

Student ambassador gives a tour of the cafeteria Student ambassador gives a tour of the student union building Student ambassadors lead a tour Student ambassador gives a tour.

Fonsie Guilaran teaches a sample class to prospective students Wayne Wofford gives a tour of the biology greenhouse James Kerfoot shows off our hawk to prospective students Student leaders on a panel to answer questions from prospective students Prospective students learn about student organizations.

Alumna Works for Food Justice in Jackson

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Cari Griffith, produce manager at Grubb’s Grocery in Jackson, said food justice is something that drives her every day, and it is a passion she discovered while a student at Union.

“My time at Union helped me challenge systems and think about what justice means,” she said. “It made me ask hard questions about food security and what poverty is in America.”

Cari graduated from Union in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. She was heavily involved in starting ComeUnity Café, a café in downtown Jackson that focuses on helping people and fostering community by providing healthy food options and a place to gather.

Cari said the idea of food justice prompted her to work with the café as community garden manager.

“Healthy, sustainably produced food should be available to everyone, not just the rich,” Cari said.

She said she began diving into the idea of food justice during her junior year at Union. She went to the famers market and bought a tomato plant to grow.

“That one tomato plant turned into, hopefully, a lifetime of farming,” Cari said.

When she first started thinking about food justice, Cari said she thought of places like Africa. She did not realize that there were needs far closer to home.

“At first, I only saw this on a global scale. I thought I had to go to Africa to find those needs,” she said. “But in my four years in college, mostly through working with ministries at Union, I saw that there is a great need here in Jackson.”

In her new position at Grubb’s Grocery, Cari said she is learning more about the marketing side of growing food. She said she hopes to continue providing ways for people with lower income to eat healthy, sustainable food.Cari Griffith picking sweet potatoes in the ComeUnity Cafe garden.